Biochemical and Vascular Aspects of Pediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Cardiology | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network
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Article
September 2010

Biochemical and Vascular Aspects of Pediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases Research Unit, The Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Centre for Cardiovascular and Lung Biology, Division of Medical Sciences, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(9):817-823. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.157
Abstract

Objective  To evaluate the biochemical and vascular aspects of pediatric chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).

Design  Cross-sectional clinical study.

Setting  Tayside, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Participants  Twenty-five children with CFS/ME and 23 healthy children recruited from throughout the United Kingdom.

Interventions  Participants underwent a full clinical examination to establish a diagnosis of CFS/ME and were asked to describe and score their CFS/ME symptoms. Biochemical markers were measured. Arterial wave reflection was estimated to assess systemic arterial stiffness.

Main Outcome Measures  Markers of oxidative stress and free radicals, C-reactive protein level, white blood cell apoptosis, and arterial wave reflection.

Results  Children with CFS/ME had increased oxidative stress compared with control individuals (isoprostanes: 252.30 vs 215.60 pg/mL, P = .007; vitamin C, mean [SD]: 0.84 [0.26] vs 1.15 [0.28] mg/dL, P < .001; vitamin E, 8.72 [2.39] vs 10.94 [3.46] μg/mL, P = .01) and increased white blood cell apoptosis (neutrophils: 53.7% vs 35.7%, P = .005; lymphocytes: 40.1% vs 24.6%, P = .009). Arterial stiffness variables did not differ significantly between groups (mean augmentation index, −0.57% vs −0.47%, P = .09); however, the derived variables significantly correlated with total (r = 0.543, P = .02) and low-density lipoprotein (r = 0.631, P = .004) cholesterol in patients with CFS/ME but not in controls.

Conclusions  Biomedical anomalies seen in adults with CFS/ME—increased oxidative stress and increased white blood cell apoptosis—can also be observed in children with clinically diagnosed CFS/ME compared with matched controls. Unlike in their adult counterparts, however, arterial stiffness remained within the reference range in these pediatric patients.

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